How to Tell if Your iPhone Is Tapped

By Melissa King

Updated September 01, 2017

Bugging software makes it easy to spy on the iPhone.
i Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You might think it the stuff of science-fiction movies, but iPhone spying tools are real and potentially dangerous – for example, someone can easily install a small, hidden app on your iPhone that allows him to see your text messages, view your contacts list, track your location and listen in on your calls. By bugging the iPhone's microphone, the software also allows a spy to hear what you're doing even when you aren't using the device. Bugging software is somewhat difficult to detect, but your iPhone may give you a few clues when it's been tapped.

Listen for a noise, such as a short tone or click, when you make a call on the iPhone. If you hear the noise every time you make a call, your iPhone may be bugged.

Power your iPhone off and check to make sure that it stays off. A bugged iPhone might stay on or turn back on even though you've turned it off.

Look at your iPhone's screen regularly when you aren't using it. Watch for the screen to light up, even for a fraction of a second. If the screen lights up when the iPhone isn't in use, this is indicative of spy software. For example, the screen may light up when the spy is using the iPhone as a listening device.

Monitor your iPhone's battery usage. When a bugging app is installed and active, the device's battery tends to drain much faster than usual. For instance, if your battery normally lasts a few days, but suddenly begins draining after a day or less, the device may be bugged.

Check the iPhone's data usage. Excessive data usage that isn't due to your activity indicates bugging software. To check your usage, tap "Settings," "General" and "Usage," and then view your usage under "Cellular Network Data." For the most accurate result, tap "Reset Statistics" to set your data usage to zero, and then check the usage again in a few days.

Look at the monthly bill for your iPhone. If your bill increased significantly, the iPhone may have a bug. The bill may also reveal strange or unusual activity that resulted from the bug.


If you think your iPhone has been bugged, you'll typically need to reset it completely to its factory default state. This is the only sure way to remove the software. Your service provider can perform the reset for you.


It's easier for a spy to install bugging software on a jailbroken iPhone. Jailbreaking the iPhone also voids your warranty, so Apple won't help you with any technical issues you may have.

Never accept an unknown Bluetooth connection. Doing so gives spies an easy way to install malicious software on the iPhone.